Tyler Labine (R) and Justin Berfield (L)
After lying and cheating his way through 151 episodes as the hit Fox series MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE as second-to-eldest brother Reese, Justin Berfield is in the midst of his biggest scheme to date, a second act.
Yes, rather than head off into obscurity, or worse the tabloids, this grizzled Hollywood veteran who has been working since the age of five is back on FOX, but this time, behind the camera as one of the executive producers behind SONS OF TUCSON.
“I went through life never thinking I was better than anyone or I deserved more than anyone else.” said Berfield, who credits his parents and the family-like atmosphere on the set of MALCOLM for keeping his head on straight. “From day one, there was the idea that actings is a job. Enjoy it, but you’re just like any other kid.”
Well, maybe not just like any other other kid.
After-all, there probably aren’t too many kids not named Ron Howard who parlayed multiple hit television shows (UNHAPPILY EVER AFTER and MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE) into a successful production company.
“I was fortunate enough to start young and not worrying about, but think about my future,” explained the surprisingly down-to-earth Berfield on a recent one-on-one with the TV Addict during January’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasedna . “I was constantly on the set [of MALCOLM] thinking of ideas and submitting them to Linwood [Creator Linwood Boomer] and Todd [Holland]”
Questions, ideas and relationship which would come in handy less than five years later when Berfield alongside his J2 Productions partner Jason Felts dropped by Holland’s house to pitch an idea for a half-hour comedy about three wealthy brothers who must hire-a-dad (Tyler Labine) while their real-life father is in prison serving time for some white collar crime.
“It was a good script, I read it and was entertained. Half hours are tough, a lot of them aren’t funny,” explained Holland on his first reaction to reading the script. “Tommy [Dewey] and Greg [Bratman] wrote a very verbal pilot, there wasn’t a lot of action and schtick like MALCOLM, it was about characters, repartee and dialogue. I really thought it was a fun idea and liked the world.”
A world that will soon find itself inhabited by a familiar face when Berfield comes full circle, and once again steps in front of the camera to guest in TUCSON’s season finale.
Promised Berflield, “I play a neighbourhood bully that never quite grew up and still lives at home with his mom. It was a fun nod to all the fans to MALCOLM who hopefully will watching our show.”
SONS OF TUCSON airs Sundays at 9:30PM on FOX (Thursdays at 9:30PM on GlobalTV in Canada Starting April 8th)
Photo Credit: Mike Leland/PictureGroup